The US dollar held on to gains against most currencies on Wednesday as renewed questions about a Covid-19 vaccine and lack of an agreement on additional US fiscal stimulus prompted a shift to safer assets.

The yuan was little changed versus the dollar after the central bank’s daily fixing of the yuan’s mid-point was largely in line with estimates, suggesting authorities have paused their attempts to rein in the currency. The euro and British pound are likely to extend declines, analysts said, as a return of restrictions on economic activity in Europe and Britain to battle a second wave of Covid-19 infections unnerves investors.

Currency moves, however, are likely to be subdued as the US presidential election looms on November 3, but analysts said sentiment is leaning against riskier bets, which should support the dollar in the coming days. “Many factors are pointing to more upside for the dollar,” said

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Thanks to their occupation of rolling bidis, about 50,000 women in Solapur are keeping the fires burning in their homes, even as their men are losing jobs in the textile sector. These women, rolling bidis for about 200 branded bidi factories, have the support of the ‘bidi card’, their lifeline to credit and a host of other benefits.

These cards have helped them sustain during the crisis and raise money from formal and informal lenders as the bidi card is treated as credit in Solapur. Bidi factories offer bidi cards — a piece of paper given to women highly skilled in bidi rolling, which ensures her permanent bidi rolling work and other benefits including provident fund, bonus, and medical assistance.

Bidi rolling is manual at all stages, and scissors and threads are the only tools used to make bidis. For decades women in Solapur have been active in bidi making.

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The United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Tuesday announced the signing of an international agreement for future exploration on the Moon, called Artemis Accords.

So far eight countries have signed the Artemis Accords which includes Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the US.

“Artemis will be the broadest and most diverse international human space exploration program in history, and the Artemis Accords are the vehicle that will establish this singular global coalition,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“With today’s signing, we are uniting with our partners to explore the Moon and are establishing vital principles that will create a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space for all of humanity to enjoy,” he added.

Artemis Accords principles

The Artemis Accords are based on a set of 10 principles “to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in the agency’s 21st-century lunar exploration

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In movie-mad India, millions of filmgoers are excitedly waiting for cinemas to reopen this week after a seven-month-long, pandemic-induced halt. It’s a step toward lifting the fortunes of the world’s most prolific film industry.

Avid fan Hema Chockalingam intends to hit the multiplex in the New Delhi suburb of Noida with a group of girlfriends this weekend. “I’m desperate for the movie-hall experience,” said the brand executive who wants to return to her once-a-week fix. “Watching streamed content is no match for the real thing, I’m reclaiming my old life.”

Nearly 10,000 movie theatres around the country closed in mid-March following coronavirus restrictions; on Thursday cinemas will become one of the last few categories of public buildings to reopen. The resumption of screening will be propitious for film buffs, big-ticket Bollywood movies awaiting theatrical release and Hollywood films such as Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, key scenes of which were filmed in

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Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to press ahead with plans to gain the global lead in technology and other strategic industries, despite expanding efforts from the US and its allies to check China’s rise.

The Chinese President reaffirmed his commitment to opening up and reform as a strategy for gaining economic advantage in a 50-minute speech Wednesday to mark the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen’s establishment as a special economic zone.

With hundreds of local officials and executives present including Huawei Technologies Co. founder Ren Zhengfei, and Vice-Premier Liu He looking on, Xi called for the making of the southern metropolis into a model city for a great, modern socialist country.

“We need to unswervingly implement an innovation-driven development strategy to foster new engines and new trends, so as to build a technological and industrial innovation high-ground with global influence,” Xi said, in remarks that didn’t mention China’s disputes with the

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The rain fury from a prevailing depression is shifting to the western parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka after swamping Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha overnight. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) expects it to weaken a round by this (Wednesday) evening only.

The IMD located the system over West Telangana early on Wednesday morning about 130 km East-North-East of Gulbarga (Karnataka) and about 50 km West of Hyderabad. It is expected to move further west-northwestwards and weaken into a well-marked low by the evening.

Warning to fishermen

Fishermen are advised not to venture into over Gulf of Mannar and along and off Karnataka-Kerala coasts on Wednesday; North Andaman Sea and along and off South Maharashtra-Goa coast on Wednesday and Thursday; and along and off Gujarat-Maharashtra coast on Friday and Saturday.

Weakening of the system may not mean much since it is moving closer to the Arabian Sea and will mop up

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The ongoing pandemic has changed everything. In the last few months, the world has evolved into living with the ‘new normal’. This has impacted businesses, irrespective of their size or sector. But in the case of small and medium businesses (SMBs), the impact has been particularly severe. For a country like India, where SMBs generate nearly a third of its GDP, their swift rebound is paramount.

Not only do SMBs provide employment to millions, they are also important suppliers and customers to larger enterprises. In recent decades, SMBs’ entrepreneurial spirit has driven much of India’s growth — which is why they are so critical to economic recovery as the nation grapples with the impact of the pandemic.

With restrictions easing, businesses are opening again. But things don’t look to be very pleasant. Recent media reports suggest that 30-40 per cent of restaurants may never open again. And it seems to

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The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the takeover of CG Power and Industrial Solutions Ltd by publicly listed Tube Investments of India Ltd, part of the Murugappa Group.

Also read: TII to invest ₹100 crore more in CG Power acquisition

The CCI said CG Power is presently undergoing financial stress and is in immediate need of funds to continue its operations as a going concern for which the lenders of CG Power have initiated the process for resolution of stress in accordance with the Stressed Asset Directions.

In August, the CG Power board had accepted Tube Investment’s proposal to invest ₹700 crore following a Swiss challenge bidding process, which was initiated by the lenders to CG Power.

Two business units

CG Power is a publicly listed entity with two major business units — power systems and industrial systems. The power systems business unit focusses on power transmission, distribution,

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Wipro Ltd on Tuesday said said in a press statement it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Eximius Design, an engineering services company with a focus on semiconductor, software and systems design.

Eximius provides end-to-end solutions and services for building smarter, smaller and faster-connected products for various use cases of IoT, Industry 4.0, edge computing, cloud, 5G and artificial intelligence, the statement added.

Eximius’ offerings and solutions will be consolidated as a part of Wipro’s EngineeringNXT framework, providing customers with a platform to innovate and engineer the next generation of products and platforms at scale.

“Eximius enables Wipro to strengthen market leadership in VLSI and systems design services by expanding our market presence and strengthening our technical leadership in the semiconductor ecosystem, to help accelerate silicon innovation for our customers. We are pleased to welcome Eximius’ employees and look forward to helping our customers innovate at scale and deliver

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The Covid-19 pandemic caused a transitory disruption in the microfinance sector in the last six months, primarily driven by the nationwide lockdown, followed by intermittent restrictions imposed across different States. Udaya Kumar Hebbar, Managing Director and CEO, CreditAccess Grameen Limited (CAGL), shares with BusinessLine on the way forward for the sector and the company. Excerpts:

After Covid-19 unlock, what is the road ahead for microfinance?

Currently, the sector has a gross loan portfolio of around ₹2,31,788 crore and 5.89 lakh active customers as on March 31. The future growth potential of the sector remains intact, as there is still a large untapped opportunity to be addressed to meet the credit requirements of the unbanked, unserved and under-served people. Rural India, which accounts for 65 per cent of India’s population and 47 per cent of India’s GDP, only accounts for 10 per cent of the overall banking credit. Further,

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